Saturday, September 27, 2008

Early Menu Plan Monday

Percy ended up having a seizure last Monday - so I'm glad I had planned for a crockpot meal that day! It was quite a busy- and stressful day. He's doing better - and we wonder if the bloodwork from the Friday before wasn't showing us that he had a seizure before that we didn't see (we're thinking overnight maybe that's why he wasn't feeling well when we got up)- but we really don't know. This whole week has been quite stressful for me, but I am really glad to have had the medical training that I've had and the fact that I was able to be home when he had it and here for him all week. It was a pretty bad seizure (not the worst that I've seen, but not one of the quick ones either) and I'm also glad that my husband didn't have to experience it either. So far he hasn't had any more seizures, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that he won't have anymore. Hubby has ordered a veterinary book on Small Animal Nutrition for me, and I'm going to read up on possibly starting to fix my guys homemade food. It's something I've always been interested in (animal nutrition that is), and it might end up being something that I am unable to actually do, but the Vet says that it can't hurt to learn about it and it's not like I don't have some training behind me to understand what's going on in the first place at least (both with cooking, nutrition, and veterinary principles). Course it probably helps that I'm also a bit crazy too. *hahahaha* :D

So, I was up early this morning, Percy was stumbling around a bit, mostly ON us. *sigh* Ended up he had to go out, thank goodness. Hubby went back to bed afterwards, but most of the time when I'm up, I'm up. I went ahead and figured out my menu for next week. This all comes from either Cooking Light or Eating Well Magazine. Hubby is upset with the fact that he's put back on a few pounds, so he's cutting out snacking at night and has asked that I cook only 2 servings of meals so he's not tempted by extra servings. The only thing this will matter on will be the pizza - I'll only make 1 pizza instead of two and he'll have to deal with that (he said that's fine with him). It's going to be a pain having 1/2 can's of beans too - but I guess I'll be having something with beans for lunch - not a big problem in the grand scheme of things. And the Linguine Carbonara I was excited to see in this month's (Oct) CL. It's already scaled for 2! It's usually a diet bomb and most recipes are for 4-6 and it doesn't hold well for leftovers. For the Fideos con Frijoles - I can actually buy fideos noodles in the hispanic section of the grocery store and they are pretty cheap ($0.59) so it's no use to buy the vermicelli which I'd also have to break (and get everywhere) for it and I'd have to go to Richmond to find - funny that, huh? The notes in the recipe aren't mine but are from the person that posted it to the list I'm on that typed it in. We've had it before and it's not a pretty dish, but it's VERY tasty.

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plans

Monday: Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy (Mashed potatoes and greens)
Tuesday: Linguine Carbonara
Wednesday: Baked Cod with Chorizo & White Beans (Enjoy with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes tossed with thyme and coarse salt.)
Thursday: Fideos con Frijoles
Friday: Fontina, Caramelized-Onion, and Pancetta Pizza

Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy
From EatingWell Magazine September/October 2008
Makes 4 servings
Can you make chicken-fried steak that isn’t loaded with saturated fat and salt? Absolutely. We skip the deep frying, but with rich country gravy as a consolation, you won’t miss it. Our pan-fried, crispy steak has less than one-third of the fat and about 80 percent less sodium than a typical version.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound cube steak, cut into 4 portions
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place all-purpose flour on a large plate. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Whisk cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch and paprika in another shallow dish. Season both sides of steak with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dredge the steak in the flour, shaking off excess; dip in the egg whites, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add 2 pieces of the steak; cook until browned on both sides, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer the steak to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 pieces of steak. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add broth to the pan and boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk water and the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in half-and-half; season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve the steak topped with the gravy.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 315 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 57 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 1 g fiber; 312 mg sodium; 379 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Selenium (50% daily value), Potassium & Zinc (15% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Linguine Carbonara

The luxurious, velvety texture of a good pasta carbonara is ephemeral at best, so you must enjoy it right away. Tempering the egg with hot pasta water keeps the sauce creamy by preventing it from curdling. For a smoky taste, use bacon in place of pancetta.

4 ounces uncooked linguine
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped pancetta (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg

1. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

2. Combine milk and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl; set milk mixture aside.

3. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pancetta to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add milk mixture and pasta to pan; toss gently to coat.

4. Place egg in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add 1/4 cup reserved hot cooking liquid, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly; cook 4 minutes or until sauce is thick and creamy.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

CALORIES 387 (30% from fat); FAT 13g (sat 5.8g,mono 4.5g,poly 1.3g); IRON 2.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 130mg; CALCIUM 192mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.2g; SODIUM 682mg; PROTEIN 19.2g; FIBER 2.3g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2008

Baked Cod with Chorizo & White Beans
From EatingWell Magazine January/February 2008
Makes 4 servings
This recipe follows the Spanish and Portuguese tradition of pairing mild white fish with full-flavored cured sausage—just a bit gives the whole dish a rich, smoky flavor. Make it a meal: Enjoy with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes tossed with thyme and coarse salt.

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 ounces Spanish chorizo (see Shopping Tip) or turkey kielbasa, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds Pacific cod, cut into 4 pieces (see Ingredient Note)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, chorizo (or kielbasa) and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the wine is almost evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in beans and 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat.

Sprinkle fish with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; place in the prepared baking dish. Top each piece of fish with equal amounts of the tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup per fillet). Pour the remaining 1/4 cup wine into the pan and cover the pan with foil. Bake until the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the fish with the sauce spooned over the top.

Shopping Tip: For this recipe we use fully cooked Spanish-style chorizo spicy pork sausage seasoned with smoked paprika and chile. Find it near other cured sausages in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food stores or online at

Ingredient Note: Overfishing and trawling have drastically reduced the number of cod in the Atlantic Ocean and destroyed its seafloor. A better choice is Pacific cod (aka Alaska cod); it is more sustainably fished and has a larger, more stable population, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 293 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 30 g protein; 6 g fiber; 567 mg sodium; 511 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Folate & Vitamin C (20% daily value), Vitamin A (15% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 1 starch, 4 lean meat

Fideos con Frijoles

Source: Cooking Light, March 2005
Servings: 4
Posted by: ejwyatt (Emily)
Date: March 16, 2005

CL Notes: Fideos are very thin vermicelli noodles. They're broken into pieces and browned in the pan before being cooked in the soup. This procedure is typical of Mexico's sopa seca, in which the noodles absorb nearly all the broth and make a thick, almost dry, soup.

My Notes: This was very hearty and tasty. I didn’t have a Serrano pepper, so I substituted a can of diced jalapenos. It was pretty hot, but I loved it.

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces vermicelli, broken into thirds
1 cup chopped white onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pasta; cook 4 minutes or until brown, stirring frequently. Add white onion, garlic, and serrano; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add cumin and ground chipotle chile; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add salt, broth, and beans; increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat; stir in tomato and cilantro. Divide evenly among 4 bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons green onions and 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup)

CALORIES 371 (20% from fat); FAT 8.3g (satfat 2.7g, monofat 2.6g, polyfat 1.3g); PROTEIN 18g; CARBOHYDRATE 55.9g; FIBER 9.7g; CHOLESTEROL 10mg; IRON 3.5mg; SODIUM 758mg; CALCIUM 172mg;

Fontina, Caramelized-Onion, and Pancetta Pizza
This simple thin-crust pizza recipe was developed by Chicago chef John Hogan.

Pizza Dough:
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry yeast (about 1/2 package)
3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
For Pizza Toppings:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 ounces pancetta (Italian-style bacon) or Canadian bacon, chopped
8 cups sliced onion (about 3 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese, divided
Thyme sprigs (optional)
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Prepare the Pizza Dough:

Dissolve sugar and yeast in 3/4 cup water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Stir 2 cups flour, oil, and salt into yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking. Place dough in large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning dough to coat top. Cover dough, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down. Cover and let rise 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

While dough is rising the second time, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pancetta, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onions, thyme, salt, and white pepper; cook 25 minutes or until onions are browned, stirring frequently.

Preheat oven to 475°.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions; roll each portion into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough circles on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Brush each prepared pizza crust with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; top each with half of onion mixture. Sprinkle half of cheese over each pizza. Bake at 475° for 9 minutes or until crusts are crisp. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges. Garnish with thyme sprigs and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pizzas (serving size: 2 slices)

CALORIES 238 (28% from fat); FAT 7.3g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.7g); IRON 2mg; CHOLESTEROL 16mg; CALCIUM 87mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.8g; SODIUM 300mg; PROTEIN 8.6g; FIBER 3.1g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 1998

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